In any other season this game would be box office; the two big hitters coming together to settle who would be Premier League champions. This year, though, an extraordinary Liverpool team have been simply irrepressible while dropping just five points all season. It caps a stellar 13 months for Jurgen Klopp’s men, a time in which the charismatic German coach has shaken off the tag of perennial runner-up and crowded the Anfield trophy cabinet with a sixth European Cup, a fourth UEFA Super Cup, a FIFA Club World Cup and the club’s first Premier League title (19 for those of more seasoned memory.).
Although the big domestic prize is gone, this is no dead rubber. City will afford the visitors a guard of honour in tribute to their achievement as champions, but that is where the respect will end. Make no mistake, Pep Guardiola’s men will be smarting having surrendered their title and will be keen to make a statement tonight – not just to the Reds, but to the teams remaining in the Champions League.
If Liverpool arrive with the same vigour they showed against Crystal Palace, this game could be an absolute belter!
Manchester City v Liverpool – Thursday at 8.00pm on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Football.